We’re still a week and a half away from the Season Premiere of The Bachelorette with Ashely Hebert and the skeletons are already dancing out of the closets! Star magazine is running an article this week in which they interview the former mother-in-law of contestant West Lee, who’s wife drowned in a tub in 2007 just after an argument with West, and she tells the tabloid, “I would tell Ashley to think long and hard before getting into a relationship with him.”
West Lee (Actual name: Adam West Lee) is a 30-year-old attorney from Walhalla, South Carolina who received his degrees from Washington and Lee University and Clemson University. According to the police report published by Radar Online, West had been arguing with his wife, Sarah Young Lee, about “three recent traffic collisions that the victim had been involved in” and how “her recent behavior was cause for concern and a great deal of fear to her father and the rest of their family.”
After several minutes Sarah stood up and said, “I’ve just had an epiphany.” She then kissed West and went to the bathroom where she got into the tub. West called out to her after several minutes of silence, to which she responded, “It’s okay I was under the water.”
After an hour had passed West became suspicious and when he went to check on Sarah he found the door locked and had to open it with a pair of scissors. He found Sarah submerged in the bath tub.
The death was ruled accidental, but Sarah’s mother seems to think otherwise:
“I believe that West was my daughter’s enabler, and I just feel he had something to do with Sarah’s death,” Dianna Sapp told Star in an exclusive interview. “I would tell Ashley to think long and hard before getting into a relationship with him.”
It’s not just Sarah’s mom who believes West played a part in her daughter’s death, Sarah’s father also spoke with Star and although he didn’t imply West had anything to do with the drowning specifically, he does suggest he was part of what led up to it:
“She was in a rehab facility right before she died but West took her out. The life they shared was a mess. Partying and drinking were not things Sarah was doing—until she started dating West.”
Even though Sapp has her doubts, the Police Department told People: “There was no physical evidence on scene that suggested Sarah Young’s death was a homicide by Bachelorette contestant Adam West Lee. We had the coroner’s report,. She had alcohol and marijuana in her system at the time of her death, but we’re not sure if she purposely killed herself.”
Sarah also had a history of seizures, depression, suicide attempts, and drug use. Two weeks before she died West caught her huffing computer cleaning spray. She said she’d had “an eiphany” (The same phrase she used right before she drowned) and vowed never to do it again.
Here is the complete description of the night of Sarah’s drowning from the police report. I’ve inserted a few paragraph breaks for readability:
“The incident occurred at [redacted] Apartment, apartment [redacted], within the town of Lexington [South Carolina]. R/O was dispatched to a 911 call. The complainant stated to county dispatch that his wife had accidentally drowned in their bath tub. County dispatch advised R/O that the subject was not conscious or breathing. County dispatch stated that emergency medical services had been dispatched to the incident location.
“Upon arrival R/O entered the incident location and observed that Ptl. Lawler had arrived prior to R/O along with emergency medical services. Ptl. Lawler was administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The victim was secured to a stretcher and removed from the incident location. Ptl. Lawler continued to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation while the victim was being transported by emergency medical services.
“R/O made contact with the complainant who was determined to be the victim’s husband. The complainant stated that he and the victim had engaged in a verbal altercation concerning three recent traffic collisions that the victim had been involved in. Those collisions had occurred on the 5th, 6th, and 9th, of September. The complainant stated that he and the victim had consumed marijuana just prior to the motor vehicle collision on the 9th of September at 1630 hours. The complainant stated that he had stated to the victim that she should be more careful with her driving. The complainant then stated to the victim that her recent behavior was cause for concern and a great deal of fear to her father and the rest of their family.
“The complainant stated that after several minutes the victim stood up and stated to the complainant, ‘I’ve just had an epiphany.’ The victim then kissed the complainant and walked into the bathroom. The complainant stated that he became worried when after several minutes he had not heard any more from the bathroom. The complainant shouted to the victim. The victim responded, ‘It’s okay I was under the water.’
“The complainant stated that after an hour he had not heard any noise from the bathroom since the last shout from the victim. The complainant attempted to open the door but found it to be locked. The complainant used a pair of scissors to unlock the bathroom door. The complainant found the victim submerged in the bathtub. The complainant removed the victim and observed that she was non responsive. The complainant further observed that the victim was not breathing.
“The complainant contacted 911. R/O contacted Det. Gugel who arrived to interview the complainant. Just prior to the arrival of Det. Gugel, R/O asked if the victim had ingested any medication or illegal narcotics. The complainant reached into a basket located next to the couch and retrieved a plastic bag containing a marijuana. R/O seized the marijuana and secured it in the evidence drop box. The complainant was not charged with possession of marijuana. The complainant stated that the victim was prescribed several anti-depressants and various other medications including alprazolam.”
The Bachelorette Season 7 with Ashley Hebert is set to premiere May 23, 2011 on ABC.
Top photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC Television Group ©2011 Disney